The other day I was standing in the kitchen with Matt, just musing over my life. I’ve been having some issues with my panic and anxiety showing up from time to time lately. I really haven’t had panic attacks in over a year so I’ve been a little worried what stress in my life is bringing this issue back up, because my panic attacks always pertain to unneeded stress. I was also talking about a mini-lecture with him I was going to do at the University of Washington for a Landscape Architect class as a favor to someone. I’ve always been a tad leery of calling myself a ‘professional’ not that I’m not professional when I work, I am, usually I’m extremely professional because it keeps you out of trouble at a job. But calling myself a professional just seems like a misnomer to me.
Now if you don’t know, I have a BA in History from the University of Washington, a Paralegal certification from University of Washington Extension, and a MBA from the University of Phoenix even with all those, I still never feel like much of a ‘professional’. I work currently part-time teaching others how to be a paralegal and when I step into the class to teach it, I have to go into my mode because most of time I feel like a kid which I know may sound weird since I’m almost 40 years old but I still feel like a kid just out of school myself. Another thing to know about me is that I don’t take myself too seriously and with this professionalism thing I got going, I find it sometimes ridiculously funny that someone would actually listen to me and take what I have to say to heart. I love public speaking and have spoken in public on different subjects on several occasions to some people’s pride and other's amazement. So when I was asked to speak to a small class of students in the Landscape Architecture department on African-American History in Seattle particularly the Central District neighborhood that I live in, I jumped at it. I love talking about history; to me it’s so complex and very interesting. But of course, I have doubts on whether someone would take this little shy girl from Texas who spent most of her afternoons curled up reading books seriously. It can’t be. I’m not a professional.
I, although I have tons of self-confidence bordering on arrogance sometimes, like anyone else have my moments of self-doubt and freak out at the idea that I actually have some sustainable knowledge that people want me to pass on. So I stood there in the kitchen looking at Matt with a look of utter panic thinking they are going to laugh me right outta there, thinking someone is going to discover that I’m a fraud and I don’t know as much as they think I do (although neither is true), feelings of panic just washed over me in a whirlwind. As I stood there with the look of panic on my face, Matt told me something that made me feel better, he just told me ‘you can do it, Jeannie’. Then he started to say ‘you can do it, Duffy Moon. You can do it, Duffy Moon.’ I looked quizzically at him and started to laugh, he explained that ‘Duffy Moon’ was in reference to an after school special he saw as a child (I know some of you can remember those, I certainly can) about a kid with self-confidence issues that he overcame. I laughed and laughed because he was just so funny standing there in our tiny kitchen belting out ‘you can do it, Duffy Moon’. I put my head and hands on his chest as he put his arms around me and we both laughed. He’s my cheerleader, he makes me feel good, and he makes me feel like I can do anything and is always there to support me when I do. Yes, I can do it, when I did it I did it well and when it was done I realized that yes, I am professional and it feels real good to be one.